Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
NFL Player & Health/Youth Advocate
Born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Madieu Williams moved to the United States at age nine and lived in Lanham, Md. In 2004, he was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the NFL Draft and spent the first four years of his career there. In 2008, Williams signed a six year contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Read More >
Because his mother passed away from a stroke after his rookie season, Williams understands firsthand the severity of minority health issues. The Madieu Williams Foundation focuses on health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and education for underprivileged youth. Through his foundation, Williams reaches out to youth and teaches them at an early age the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
This past football season the Madieu Williams Foundation started a life skills program in North Minneapolis. The program worked with 20 eighth grade students throughout the season and met with them every Monday to discuss different life skills. Through the program Williams was able to reach out to the kids and introduce them to several people in the community, while also bringing them on field trips to explore the many possibilities their future could hold. The Foundation rewarded the kids for their participation and involvement by bringing them to the Vikings games.
While in Cincinnati, Williams hosted a free football clinic for over 300 kids in the Cincinnati area each summer. This free clinic provided youth the opportunity to work on their football skills, sportsmanship, and teamwork, while building self-esteem both on and off the field. The Foundation also teamed up with Mercy Hospitals to provide free screening for the parents of the kids who attended the clinic. The past two years, Williams has teamed up with his Alma Mater, University of Maryland, to host a free football clinic and health screening on campus.
On March 29, 2008, the Madieu Williams Foundation teamed up with Kaboom! and funded an entire playground build in Cincinnati. The build took place in just one day with the help of over 150 Madieu William Foundation volunteers.
In addition, Williams teamed up with Mercy Health Partners to serve as the spokesperson for a diabetes screening awareness program for 2007. As part of the program, he visited local hospitals and community centers to talk about the importance of being screened. He also interned with Mercy Hospitals during the 2007 season in order to learn more about healthcare.
In 2004, Williams served as the March of Dimes Chair and helped the organization promote numerous events and raise funds.
On March 27, 2009 he traveled back to his hometown of Freetown, Sierra Leon, for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the elementary school his foundation build in memory of his mother, Abigail D Butscher. The school is located in Calaba Town, which is one of the poorest areas in Freetown. The first school built in this area, it has classrooms, running water and will be able to educate up to 170 students each year.
In June of 2010, the Madieu Williams Foundation sponsored the Healing Hands Foundation to do a mission trip to Sierra Leone. The team consisted of surgeons, dentists, nurses, teachers and more who performed free surgeries, offered dental health and taught curriculum for the children at Williams’ school. They also brought along supplies for the hospitals and classrooms.
Williams continues to focus on health, nutrition, and fitness education for underprivileged youth. He has spoken to audiences nationwide, advocating the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Read Less ^
African Voices: CNN Interview
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